Without going into details as to how I think they were able to go about presenting the ending as chillingly as they did, or how tying the theme from "Brand New Day" into "Everything You Ever" was some awesome juxtaposition, or the tragicomedy genre was something I had never before heard of, I will say this: Has anyone noticed the similarities between Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and Universal's "Despicable Me"?
First, some background. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was released in 2008. The 42-minute straight-to-web production was written and directed by Joss Whedon (see: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Firefly," "Dollhouse; " guest directing: "The Office," "Glee;" movies, most notably "Toy Story") and tells the (musical) tale of a super-villain in the making. It stars Neil Patrick Harris (see: "How I Met Your Mother") and Nathan Fillion (see: "Castle"). Here's a short peek at my favorite song in the production:
So it's a story about a super-villain. Only, we're not rooting for the "good" guys - we're rooting for him. And to me, that's reminiscent of Despicable Me.
Horrible was released in 2008, during the writer's strike. Despicable hit theaters in 2010, so it would have to be Universal that was inspired by the notion of an evil protagonist in a superhero film. Both titles use synonyms (horrible and despicable) to describe the characters which are portrayed as anything but. Let's take a look at some details:
|These bad guys love their Freeze Rays. So much so, in fact, that both Dr. Horrible has a song entitled "Freeze Ray," and Gru is quoted shouting, "Freeze ray! Freeze ray! Freeze ray!" right before the the audio track drops the movie title. (There should totally be a word for "saying-the-title-during-the-performance.")|
|Both villains haven't been too impressive in their previous heists. Dr. Horrible tried transporting gold bars (they ended up a little reordered on the molecular level), and Gru stole the Statue of Liberty..."the small one from Las Vegas."|
|Horrible seeks entrance into the Evil League of Evil, achievable only through mischievous feats. Gru wants a loan from the Bank of Evil, obtainable through demonstration of ability to do evil. Sounds like some very evil organizations.|
The two plots, of course, differ greatly. But in premise, there's a lot of overlap. And why shouldn't there be? They're exploring the hip new super-villain-protagonist craze. Who knows, Marvel could really run with it. Until then, there'll be plenty more kids movies to test the waters. Anyone up for Megamind?